Desert Tech SRS-A2 – the unreal hi-tech sniper rifle coming from the future

This post was published in Yandex Zen. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Desert Tech, a private American company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, formerly called Desert Tactical Arms (DTA), founded in 2007 by Nicholas Young, is one of the few weapons manufacturers who are active and sufficient successfully promotes the design of bullpup in sniper (and not only) weapons.

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Despite such a young age, the rifles of this company are quite common. The most famous among the entire (small) range of the company’s weapons, the SRS sniper rifle in different versions and calibers is used by the American military in various “crisis places” around the world, by the American special police units, and also adopted by the security forces of some countries, one of the first , in 2008, became Georgia, and later, the Police Department of Thailand (2012), the Royal Guard of Saudi Arabia (2013), the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of Lithuania (both countries in 2015), as well as the National Guard Ukraine (2016).

The Desert Tactical Arms SRS (Stealth Recon Scout) rifle, was first presented in 2008, at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, just in time for the then new tender – Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR), launched by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), for a new sniper rifle, in which various requirements were put forward for accuracy, modularity (change of cartridge / caliber and / or barrels), weight, and more.

The tender was attended by very authoritative players with their advanced, “at that time” [and not only that], products, among which were: Accuracy International AX 338, ArmaLite AR-30, Barrett MRAD, Blaser Tactical 2, FN Ballista, PGM 338, Remington Modular Sniper Rifle, Sako TRG M10, and of course Desert Tech SRS.

The Remington MSR rifle won that tender with a signed contract for the supply of 5150 rifles with silencers and 4 696 800 cartridges for them over 10 years. The contract * was officially awarded in 2013 for the amount of $ 79.7 million.

[*An interesting point – under the terms of the contract, the Remington company produces rifles, of course, itself, the ammunition is produced by the Barnes Bullets company, and the expansion joints and silencers are the Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), while all three contractors belong to Freedom Group Inc. Most of all the British from Accuracy International were “offended”, after that, they updated (improved) the AX 338 to the PSR version and still got into the American special forces. The rest also went to the units of different countries. In 2020, the Remington MSR rifle, in addition time changed its name to Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR), was replaced by the USSOCOM command with Barrett MRAD, for reasons … With something Remington “failed” …]

In 2010, in order to optimize the work of the entire company and achieve the best results, it was decided to modernize the company and expand the range.

In the same year, Desert Tactical Arms released a shortened version of the SRS rifle – the SRS-Covert with an overall length of only 685 mm (27 inches) with a barrel length of 406 mm (16 inches), making it the shortest sniper rifle in the world, while , for powerful enough cartridges.

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That is, with the advent of the compact version, the rifle, “conditionally divided spheres of influence” – the SRS version is intended for use by military snipers, as well as civilians, where it is allowed and allowed, and the SRS Covert version is intended for use in confined spaces , for example, special forces police units, CQB (Close Quarter Battle) or when active maneuvering is required, for example, in military operations in urban areas.

A very serious step in the optimization of the company was the development and launch into production (in the same year) of its line of match-grade cartridges for sports (or – high-precision) shooting – Desert Tactical Munitions (DTM). There are not many cartridge options, but the main ones: 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, .338 Lapua Magnum, .375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac and .50 BMG.

Further, the launch of the production of such elements as a new muzzle brake-compensator and a muffler of its own design DTSS (for some cartridges), in addition to which, the company offers its customers similar products for other cartridges from Elite Iron and AMTAC Suppressors.

In addition, Desert Tactical Arms in 2012 entered into a partnership with one of the world’s oldest premium optics manufacturers, the Austrian company Kahles Optics, and later with the American Vortex. And, of course, the Picatinny rail (MIL-STD-1913 or STANAG 2324), as a universal standard, allows you to use any compatible (that is, almost all modern) optical or any other scopes from other companies.

Further, briefly about the history of the company in chronological order.

In 2012 – “heavy artillery” from Desert Tech – the lightest and most compact in its class, the so-called HTI anti-material sniper rifle chambered for .375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac and .50 BMG, which was updated already in 2013.

In 2013, the SRS family was updated to the SRS-A1 and SRS-A1 Covert versions. In 2014, the company was rebranded from Desert Tactical Arms to Desert Tech.

In 2015 – the first version for left-handed shooters. Not all manufacturers of classic models have such. In the same year, Desert Tech created its TRASOL ballistic calculator, which naturally works in the second decade of the 21st century through an application on smartphones of two main platforms: iOS and Android.

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In 2016 – TRASOL 2.0 (for 2020 only for iOS) and TRASOL HUD. TRASOL HUD is the first ballistic application that uses Heads-Up Display technology (projection of important and necessary data onto, usually, but not only, the windshield), which once passed from military aviation to the automotive industry, and now to mobile applications smart devices for use with firearms.

Using the built-in camera and built-in sensors of the iPhone or iPad, TRASOL allows users to aim their device at a target and automatically generates solutions with absolute precision.

The HUD has an intuitive interface for quick input, allows you to track moving targets, and the device’s sensors do the rest. All details are on the company’s website.

In addition to sniper rifles, Desert Tech proposed a carbine [semi-automatic] or an assault rifle [with the ability to conduct continuous fire] in a bullpup – MDR layout.

The rifle was first shown in 2014 at the Shot Show (Las Vegas, USA), its serial production was planned to begin in 2015. The forend and body of the rifle are made of plastic, with two forend options planned, standard (MDR) and shortened (MDR-C).

The DT MDR rifle has a modular design with quick-change barrels of different calibers and, in the base, is designed for a powerful 7.62×51 NATO rifle cartridge. By changing the barrel, the bolt and installing the appropriate adapter in the magazine receiver, it can easily adapt to smaller cartridges of size and power, since: 5.56×45 NATO, .300 AAC Blackout / .300 BLK, 6.8×43 Remington SPC, 7.62×39 (M43) and some others, but not everything was embodied.

Nevertheless, this is a modern product, with the possibility of changing the direction of the extraction of the sleeves, which for such a design in the automatic version is extremely important, but …, “the American army does not like bullpads.”

In 2019, Desert Tech introduced a new, third generation of SRS models – SRS A2 and SRS-A2 Covert.

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Desert Tech’s SRS and SRS Covert family of sniper rifles, now 3rd generation, are among the most versatile sniper rifles in the world. This is the simplest modular sniper kit, in which, in order to “change the purpose”, you need to replace the barrel and bolt, and this replacement is carried out extremely quickly.

What is all this for? A situational moment when it becomes necessary to hit a radically different target and, possibly, at a different distance, for which a different ammunition and, possibly, a different rifle for it may be required. In general, it was for such cases that modular rifles were created, which combine solutions for most of these tasks.

The design features of the SRS and SRS Covert are the construction of a bullpup sniper platform, as you know, with the placement of the firing mechanism behind the trigger itself and the ability to quickly change the caliber. The undoubted advantage of the Desert Tech SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert rifles (and of the entire family) is that when changing the caliber, the trigger and the optical sight do not require additional adjustment.

This makes it possible to speed up and facilitate high-precision shooting immediately after changing the barrel and bolt. In principle, the same is implemented in other modular rifles, with the exception of the layout. And – total length.

One of the most noticeable differences between the new Desert Tech SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert rifles is the handguard with side (3, 6, 9 o’clock) M-LOK slots, with attachment points every 45 degrees. The M-LOK is a quicker replacement for attachments and is more popular than the Picatinny side rails.

In addition to the new forend, Desert Tech has introduced new optional handgrips as a separate consumer kit. Each buyer (customer) can assemble a rifle at their discretion and configuration, as a “good modular designer” should. The SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert have been designed to be compatible with all the accessories you may have used so far.

All steel and aluminum elements of the rifle are coated with a special anti-corrosion and antistatic coating to protect against various kinds of aggressive external influences. The main controls of the Desert Tech SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert rifles are double-sided, except, of course, the bolt – the version with the A2 index for left-handers is still ahead.

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The safety switch is conveniently located above the trigger guard and allows its use without taking your hand off the rifle handle. The magazine eject button is located on the stock.

The SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert rifles are well balanced, the center of gravity is shifted as far back as possible from the barrel and the balance point is in front of the trigger guard, which allows you not to waste efforts to compensate for the weight of the barrel, and allows you to control and control the rifle even when shooting from hands while standing.

The ergonomics of the rifles are also at a high level. Trigger guard SRS-A2 and SRS-A2 Covert, made to the optimal size and will allow you to use the rifle with shooting gloves. The trigger mechanism allows the adjustment of the trigger pulling force in the range from 0.68 kg to 3.18 kg, and the trigger offset is up to 6.5 mm, without having to disassemble the rifle.

The adjustment is carried out using the adjusting screws located on the trigger itself and above the trigger. The weight of the rifles was reduced by 952.5 grams (2.1 lbs) compared to the generation with the A1 index. The retractable telescopic butt is a very wise decision of the company’s engineers – it adds great ergonomics. The polymer housing is available in black, sand (FDE) or mixed black and sand colors.

And here, the Desert Tech company, one might say, presented a surprise – on the compact SRS-A2 Covert, you can freely use the barrels from the larger SRS-A2, if there is such a need and “does not bother” the increasing overall length.

If the Command of the Special Operations Forces so often changes high-precision sniper rifles (it is known that they have a separate expense item from the regular army), then it can be assumed that the next serious step of the Ministry of Defense (and all divisions) will be the requirement for manufacturers to standardize certain components for the next generations.

Example: a general recommended list of cartridges, standardized magazines and for a certain number of cartridges (5-7-10 pieces), a general standard for barrel lengths and rifling, a general universal lock for fastening barrels to the chassis, a single rifling standard for attaching silent firing devices, possibly what is a quick-attach / quick-detachable standard, an approximate view of work and folding of the butt, a general recommendation for setting the trigger, since it is, in itself, a customizable module, approximate weight and dimensions, etc.

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What is it for? As American sources point out more than once, in case of “any need” to be able to “take what is from the shelf”, and if it is ALREADY produced within the “recommended military standards”, then there is a way out …

And if this, we can say, is just “reflections on the topic”, then we recall that only 20 years ago, no one heard of modular sniper rifles, although, perhaps, they thought, but now they are almost all producers of such.


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